Wednesday, August 26, 2015
With the days getting shorter and school starting, I feel the pull to work in my gardens 24/7 while the weather is still good. Like Vilenok, I am sore everywhere from the work. I do envy her though because she doesn’t have arthritis adding to the joint pain. My work is also taking forever! Hopefully she will get enough done to satisfy the board, as I hope I get enough to satisfy my board of one, ME.
Argora and Vilenok
Walking into Vilenok’s kitchen the day after her friend’s mother left for the orc caverns, Argora sucked in her breath. Her friend sat at the table with her head on the flat surface. The dwarf rushed over and shook the thin shoulder. Vilenok lifted her head as if it took all her energy to do the task. Black circles lined her eyes and sadness filled the depths. Argora reached out to feel the orc’s forehead with the back of her hand. The skin felt normal.
“Are you sick?” She picked up the cup next on the table and refilled it with coffee from the stove. Grabbing a second cup from the cabinet, she poured herself a cup and doctored the liquid up with honey.
Vilenok rubbed her elbow. “No, I don’t think so. I am exhausted. After my mother left yesterday, I started working on the backyard. The neighborhood board will be here to inspect in five days. For hours I clipped. My knees, back, hands, shoulders, and elbows ache. How do you do all this work daily without falling over dead.”
“Dwarves are made for such work. I would feel just like you if I were forced to run for long stretches like I see you do as the sun comes up.”
“You have seen me run?”
“Yes, and I could never do that.” Argora took a sip of coffee and shuddered. She should have added some water. “How about we go look at what you did yesterday. I hope you didn’t kill everything in the backyard. I wanted to move some of those plants to the front.”
Vilenok grinned with her fangs popping out from under her upper lip. “I thought you might want to do that. I only cut the weeds and flowers. I left anything that had some sort of fruit or vegetable. I only want productive plants that serve a purpose, not frilly pretty pests.”
“Well, the problem with that is most fruits and vegetables flower before the crop begins to grow.”
A frown crossed Vilenok’s face. “Oh, I didn’t know.”
“Don’t worry. I am sure that I can spare seeds or plants from my gardens with anything you might have unwittingly lopped off.” Argora stood. “Shall we get started?”
They walked out the back door. The brittle air of an early fall pinched at Argora’s nose. She wasn’t ready to put her gardens to bed. Winter in the human world kept her inside. Homesickness cloaked her spirits, until she noticed that back corner of the garden. With quick choppy steps, she reached the pile of debris. Sifting through the leaves, she groaned.
“You cut up all the strawberries.” Argora shook a velvety green leaf at Vilenok. “I would think you know what strawberry plants are. They grow wild in the hills.”
“My sister did the foraging while I battled with the boys. In my clan, I was the best of the females, so I wasn’t given the task. I ate them on the march, but I didn’t pay attention.”
Argora looked at the patch. The previous owners of the property failed to use fertilizer and neglected the weeds even before they sold to Vilenok. The dry ground left the stubble that remained look brittle.
“I guess I will let my strawberry runners take root the rest of the season. If we are lucky, I can have ten to twenty baby plants for you by mid spring.” Argora pulled to small shovels from the bag she brought from her house and handed one to Vilenok. “We need to get to work.”
The short tubby woman lowered herself down. She plunged the plant weapon into the ground loosening the roots of weeds and strawberries alike. Vilenok watched her for a moment.
“Why can’t we just leave it? The height is all uniform with the grass.”
“The board is going to frown with our plan to turn this all into lawn. If it is a lawn with weeds, they will really be upset. We need to get all this out of here and then seed it with grass for a uniform green and height.”
“This is going to take forever.”